Tag Archive | sacrifice

The Cost of Service

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BedfordNestled in the heart of Virginia, there is a small town named Bedford. Unassuming in its quaintness, with a population of less than 7,000, Bedford is quintessential “small town America”. But if you dig a little deeper, Bedford has a unique and hallowed distinction in the life of America.

img_2738.jpgThis small town lost more men, per capita, in the Normandy landings on D-Day than any other municipality in America. In 1944, this small town had a population of around 3,200. On June 6, 1944, Bedford lost twenty of her sons in the event known as Operation Overlord, the allied incursion that was the beginning of the end of the Nazi stranglehold on Europe.

Earlier this week marked the 73rd anniversary of D-Day. With a force of over 150,000, the victory that day was significant. But at what cost?

IMG_2803With over 10,000 casualties including over 4,400 soldiers killed, the Allies paid a steep price for the victory at Normandy. In the wake of victory, within days, communities all over America were mourning the loss of their sons, fathers, husbands, and brothers who died on those beaches; men who put their lives on the line for the sake of freedom, not just for our nation, but for freedom loving people throughout the world.

Every good and perfect gift comes from God (James 1:17), but comes at a cost to someone. Freedom and liberty come at the cost of diligence and, when necessary, brave men and women fighting and giving their lives for the sake of freedom. Wealth and prosperity come at the cost of years of hard work and keeping one’s nose to the grindstone. Staying healthy comes at the cost of diligently eating right, exercising, and taking care of your body. For the Christian, salvation is free, but came at the cost of the precious blood and life of Jesus. Service and sacrifice are the price of the things that are most important to us, and anything worth having is going to cost something to someone.

IMG_2823So with the examples set before us, for what are we willing to sacrifice? What principles and beliefs are we willing to get up off the couch for, leave our comfort zone, and dedicate our lives to the service of? At what point do we decide that we are not here for ourselves and our needs, but are to serve others and their needs? For the patriot; duty, service, and honor are the prices of strength and freedom. For the believer in Christ, Paul put it this way…

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. ~ Colossians 3:1-4

IMG_2838Regardless of the circumstance — whether standing for the truth of God’s Word, for the rights of the poor and disadvantaged, against the forces of dishonesty and corruption in our world (like fake news, lawless counter-culture activism, and Godless ideologues that parade themselves as social justice warriors) — the time has come for decent people of good will to get off the fence, off the sidelines, and get involved in making a difference through serving others, and letting their voices be heard.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for
good men to do nothing.”

This famous quote by Irish statesman Edmund Burke is a great reminder for a society seemingly at the tipping point of anarchy. But Burke said something else just as pertinent to where we are today…

“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing
because he could do only a little.”

Truth.

We all have different gifts, abilities, and resources. But it takes all of us working together with whatever gifts we are given to make a difference, in this world and in the next.

Think about it.

Pastor Ron

As We Remember

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Today, we in America will observe Memorial Day. This day was first observed as Decoration Day, and originated after the Civil War, as a way of remembering the over 600,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who were killed during that horrific conflict which pitted brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor, and countryman against countryman. While the aftermath of that conflict was a  wounded nation brought back together, and many other brave American men and women have since fallen in wars and conflicts around the globe, we as American citizens must be ever mindful of the price that was paid, and ever vigilant as watchmen to protect the freedom for which they died.

As we today honor those who have fallen in battle, I am reminded of a letter penned by President Abraham Lincoln to a widow, Mrs. Lydia Bixby, whose sons had died fighting for the Union army…

Dear Madam,

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,

A. Lincoln

Iwo JimaOn this day, as we go about our family gatherings and picnics, please take a moment to remember the solemnity of this day by offering a prayer of thanksgiving for those who gave their lives so that you could be free, as well as a prayer of comfort for those who are still grieving a loss unimaginable by most of us. Let us remember that those who gave their full measure of devotion for the cause of freedom are not nameless and faceless, but are husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, and friends.

Thank you heroes, for your service and sacrifice. We owe you a debt we cannot repay.

May God bless America.

Flags & Graves

Saving the One

Arlington2 In the Academy Award winning movie, Saving Private Ryan, 8 soldiers set out across the French countryside in the days following D-Day. Their mission is to find one soldier, Private Ryan, deliver his discharge order, and get him back to safety and home. By the end of the mission, only two of the team members survived. Six of the men that originally set out to save Private Ryan sacrificed their lives so he would be saved.

Helmet2Jesus talked about the Good Shepherd, who left his ninety-nine sheep to find the one that was lost.

Some may say, “That’s crazy… to sacrifice many just to save one.”

It sounds crazy… unless you are that one.

We were all that one.

The Bible says that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

The theme song from our TV program, Ron Phillips from Abba’s House, has the following lyrics:

Wherever you’ve been
Or what you’ve been through
The Father is waiting for you

If any one of us as individuals had been the only one needing to be saved, Jesus still would have gone through the torture, the pain, the anguish, and the death… just to save the one.

Just to save you.

He thought you were worth it… and He still does.